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July 25, 2012
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Recent rain and cooler weather has prompted Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy to modify current fire restrictions in Eagle County. As a result, Eagle County has implemented Stage I fire restrictions, which prohibit all open burning for private lands in unincorporated Eagle County.

Activities allowed:

• Open fires in charcoal or gas fire grills commonly used for home preparation of meals.

• Open fires in exterior, in-ground decorative natural-gas appliances or fire-pits with listed pilot safety and flame safeguard devices in working order.

• Recreational fires in developed areas fully contained in a commercially purchased portable outdoor fireplace (i.e. a metal, in-ground or above-ground containment structure) with approved spark arrester, water supply nearby, and located an appropriate distance from combustible material (15 feet).

• A fire within a furnace, stove, boiler or other place within a house or structure.

• Camp stoves on private lands, commercially purchased/approved camping stoves and/or backpacking stoves.

• Smoking within an enclosed vehicle or building or in a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable vegetation.

Activities Not Allowed:

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or "open fire" of any type on private lands outside of a developed campground or recreational area with fire grates (unless authorized with written approval by Eagle County and appropriate fire protection district).

• Wood burning stoves

• Improperly discarded smoking materials, including but not limited to cigarette butts and matches.

• Using explosive material i.e. fire crackers, fireworks, tracer rounds, blasting caps or any incendiary device that may result in the ignition of flammable material.

• Operating or using a chainsaw or any internal combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working condition.

• Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device, including sparklers.

• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material within 10 feet of equipment.

Anyone found in violation of the fire restrictions may be convicted of a Class 2 petty offense and may be subject to a $500 fine. Higher fines may be imposed for subsequent offenses.

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office arrested Ruben Rivera-Ortiz after he sold cocaine to an undercover operator with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force on July 19.

The 24-year-old ran into the pond near the sewage treatment plant in Edwards in an attempt to escape from detectives after the drug transaction. He was ordered out of the pond at gunpoint and taken into custody.

Ortiz was charged with felony possession and distribution of cocaine, as well as misdemeanor resisting arrest. Ortiz is being held at the Eagle County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Ortiz is illegally in the United States and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed an immigration detainer on Ortiz.

Tips on illegal drug activity from concerned citizens are vital to Eagle County Drug Task Force operations. The ECSO will continue to investigate this incident.

If you think you may have any information about the suspects or this crime, please call the Eagle County Sheriff's Office at (970) 328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at (970) 328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, submit your tip online at, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES (274637). If your tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward from the Crime Stoppers.

• A wallet was stolen from an unlocked car parked outside an Edwards movie theater on June 27.

• Items were stolen from unlocked cars parked outside a residence on Hummingbird Trail in Edwards between June 29 and July 2.

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The VailDaily Updated Jul 25, 2012 01:12PM Published Jul 25, 2012 01:11PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.